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Las Vegas Glitz and Glamour Highlight NBA’s In-Season Tournament

Las Vegas— The NBA In-Season Tournament’s semifinals and championship game in Las Vegas marked a significant occasion in the basketball league’s history. The semifinals Thursday count in the standings, and half a million dollars are at stake for the winning team in the finals.

The tournament has seamlessly combined an exhibition All-Star Game environment with a playoff-style intensity never before seen before Christmas.

Entertainment stars like Nelly and TLC performed at Toshiba Plaza, adding to the glamor of the occasion. The arena saw the presence of sports icons such as Julius Erving, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the two-time WNBA champions, the Las Vegas Aces.

The high-profile players like LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo had a red-carpet entry and played on a red-and-blue court, creating a unique atmosphere.

According to Bucks All-Star guard Damian Lillard, the tournament’s atmosphere was special and reminiscent of playing for USA Basketball in the summer due to the crowd’s neutral energy.

Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, right, shoots the ball against Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez during a semifinal game in the NBA basketball In-Season Tournament, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Kyle Terada/Pool Photo via AP)

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who was present, will give a state-of-the-league news conference before Saturday’s final. There is speculation about Las Vegas becoming a potential candidate for NBA expansion, with Carlisle stating that the turn out to the event indicates interest in the NBA game, suggesting that the city may become an NBA city.

The semifinals began with a moment of silence to honor the victims of Wednesday’s mass shooting at UNLV, where three people were killed and one was seriously injured.

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